Coach In Focus – Kelvin Grace
Meet our Year 5 Coach Kelvin Grace
Kelvin is another member of the Club who enjoys making positive contributions to the Club environment. He has been part of our Coaching team since his son’s second year of Auskick. His passion for the game, imparting knowledge and developing the skills in his players is what makes Kelvin a great Coach.
1. How long have you been coaching footy for at AMPJFC and other clubs?
I have been coaching my son since second year Auskick, so this is my 5th year!
2. Did you play footy yourself as a youngster? If so who for and what age till?
I started my footy career when I was the age my son is now in country Victoria. Those days I got half a quarter if I was lucky in Under 12½’s, unfortunately I had no other options as that’s when footy started! These days kids are so lucky to be introduced at such an early age and be able to enjoy footy without the rough and tumble early on. I played until I was 29 at various clubs around Victoria (school, country, uni and amateur leagues) and then moved to WA where I hung up the boots.
3. Who was your best coach when you played? Why?
My U15’s coach was my best coach, he was a great player for our club and he spoke to us clearly and concisely and hardly ever raised his voice. The first 3 games we kicked about 70 goals! We won the grand final that year and I didn’t have a fixed role until the coach – through development of my skills and game style put me in full back and taught me how to play that position (never had before). This was key to my footy development and it makes sense as coaches that we play the kids in different positions to help with their skill and development.
4. What children and teams do you have at AMPJFC?
My son Addison, who’s in year 5 and has been at the club since he was old enough to play! My daughter Harper is not playing yet but her kicking is coming along!!
5. What age groups have you coached?
Auskick, Year 3, Year 4 and now Year 5. I’m also coaching basketball (daughter’s team) on Saturday.
6. What got you into coaching?
The first year my son did Auskick I was standing around and I realised among the parents watching their kids, I was one with a lot of playing experience and I thought I could add a lot to my son’s and the other kids footy development. So I put my hand up for the following year and have been coaching ever since.
7. What do you enjoy about coaching?
Just seeing the kids enjoying themselves and playing a team sport as a team is what I enjoy best. It makes me feel part of my son’s development and I feel I am helping him and the other kids achieve skill development, discipline, teamwork, but at the same time having fun doing it!
8. What are some stand out moments as a coach?
There are many moments to mention, whether it’s the sneaky goals, players running flat out to intercept, a great and fair tackle or a string of handballs that gets us into the clear makes it easy to turn up each week. The real stand out moments is when you ask one or more of the kids to do something they may need to do to develop as a skill or something for the team and they do it! You see the satisfaction on their faces and it makes you smile.
9. What is your focus for the team this year?
I have some fantastic assistant coaches in Ash and Paul this year and a highly capable Team Manager Sanchia who are helping to get the most out the team in regards to skill development, fitness, team play and having heaps of fun. The competition is becoming a little serious so it’s important to reflect on these goals every now and then with the team around me making it easy.
10. What is your catch phrase that you always say to your players? E.g. words of wisdom, inspirational message etc.
“Have Fun, Play as a Team, Talk & Encourage each other!”
11. What AFL Team do you barrack for?
My son and I are die hard Geelong fans…C’on the Cats!!
What Ash says: “Kelvin is a passionate and dedicated coach who wants only the best for the boys.”
What Paul says: “Kelvin is a dedicated coach who is passionate about the development of every member of the team”